If your lifelong ambition is to play video games for a living, there are ways to do that. Even if you don’t make enough to pay all of your bills, your video game habit can still generate a little extra spending money. Here are some ideas to turn your game playing habit into cash.
Game testing: Game developers routinely put their products through both in-house testing and testing by members of the public. You can either get hired by a game development company to do in-house testing, or offer up your testing services to developers. Testing jobs for the general public can be hard to come by. Many aren’t advertised so it helps if you are in the industry or know someone who is. You can also try writing to your favorite game developers and offering your services. Think small at first. Maybe you can test some mobile games or independently developed games and build up some references that you can use to get better jobs. You may not always get paid in cash, but you will likely get at least a free game out of the deal.
Enter tournaments/go pro: Gaming tournaments are popular. Some are open to the general public, while others are open only to professional gamers. Google your favorite game title and “tournaments” to see what’s out there. Some tournaments are sponsored by local companies and others are national events. If you want to go pro, you need to become familiar with Major League Gaming. This is the organization that oversees professional gaming tournaments, similar to MLB or the NBA. You’ll have to practice as much as a professional athlete if you want to go pro.
Be a coach: If you excel at any given game, you can hire yourself out as a gaming coach. People who want to go pro often need the assistance of others, just like athletes need help from coaches. As a coach, you help your player master the technical skills needed to succeed, and you show them how to win the game or get to levels the player cannot reach on his own. To be a coach, you have to know pretty much everything there is to know about a game and be able to teach it to others.
Sell online property: There is a whole industry devoted to gamers who acquire and then sell online property and cash found in games. Games like WarCraft and other role playing games require you to amass gold or other valuables to succeed. People who don’t have the time, patience, or skill to acquire these items on their own often turn to online brokers to get what they need. As a broker, you play the game and acquire the most sought after materials which you then sell to other players. There are websites already set up that you can join and sell from, or you can handle your own sales.
Blog about/review games: If you are devoted to a particular game or type of game, you can make money blogging about or reviewing games. You can do this on your own website, or get hired by a larger review site/blog and contribute your thoughts.
Become a game designer/developer: If you want to create new games, becoming a game designer or developer is the path for you. Developers usually handle the technical end of creating a game. These are the people who write the code. Game designers usually create the story, characters, and rules of the game. These disciplines may overlap in some companies. There are college degree/associate programs in both disciplines and, unless you are incredibly gifted or have already created a great game in your garage, you’re going to need some formal education to break into these careers.
Gamble: WorldGaming.com and BringIt.com are two sites that let you bet on your gaming skills. Players of similar ability are matched, agree on a wager amount, and then play to see who wins. These sites support XBox, Playstation and Wii console games. The winners are paid via PayPal or check. The average bet is around $10, although you will find some high-roller types who bet well into the hundreds.
You don’t have to become a professional gamer to make money playing video games, although it’s an option. Some of these activities require a little creativity on your part, extra education, or maybe some “insider contacts,” but nothing is insurmountable. If you want to play your way into extra cash, there are ways.